7 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Internship

7 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Internship

You don’t have to pay tuition, yet you can learn! Don't take it for granted.
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Congrats on getting an internship! I know how stressful and time-consuming it is to go through the interviewing process. But now that you have accepted the internship, I want to help you make the most of it. Now that I am on my third internship, I’ve had experience with ways to ensure that you leave your internship knowing more and having as many connections as you can.

1. Connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn

Please don’t think of LinkedIn like other social media. You aren’t “friending” them and have to worry about whether they will find your request strange. It’s a work site so that you can gain connections for future job opportunities. If you are lucky, they will endorse you! Now your skill set will look more promising to future employers.

2. Don't be afraid to ask questions

Whether they pertain to the project you are working on, the company, or what an acronym means, ask someone! They will be more than happy to answer, especially because it shows interest. If it is a question of how they want something done for a project, you are ensuring that it is completed correctly which is extremely important. The only thing to keep in mind is to ask the correct person. When in doubt, ask your boss/mentor. I highly recommend finding employees that are working in a career you could see yourself pursuing and asking them advice about what classes to take, what they wish they had done in college, etc. Do yourself a favor and learn from their past experiences.

3. Request training

There is a chance you will have time set aside for training by the internship program. If that is not the case and you are unsure how to do something because it is entirely new to you, chances are that someone knows how to. Schedule some time with them where they solely take the time to teach you. You are there to learn, and I can assure you that your newfound knowledge will be useful in the future.

4. Take advantage of company events

If there is a social event the company is hosting, I strongly recommend going and talking to employees. Make even more connections and learn more about the work environment. If employees go, they probably enjoy working there! Good to know if you want to work there after you graduate.

5. Talk to the other interns

If you have other interns there, even if they work in a different department, reach out to them! Creating that bond is one reason I’m enjoying my current internship so much. Prior to this internship starting, I was worried because I did not have anyone planned to be in my group for a semester project. By spending time with the other interns, I found out one was in the same position I was and now we are forming a group together. Having friends at work will give you something to look forward to every day while there. I’m not saying that just working isn’t fun, but I would much rather talk to people throughout the day than sit in silence. Eight-hour days are much longer than they seem, so try to make the most of it.

6. Go out to lunch

You are given a lunch break every day. Why not go out with other employees and learn more about them? I currently have plans to have lunch with my fellow interns, as well as directors and executives. My company is giving us the opportunity to meet with them in a more casual setting. I would highly recommend finding out if you can meet with other employees over lunch. It’s an easy and relaxed way to discover more about possible careers or the company you are working for.

7. LEARN

The most important advice I can give is to pay attention to everything they teach you. I can guarantee that you won’t know everything before you work there. I also know that there will be topics that aren’t and won’t be covered in your classes, but companies want you to know them before you are hired fulltime. Think about it. You don’t have to pay tuition to learn, and it's from people who will teach it to you at a reasonable pace. Do not take it for granted.

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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The Truth About Responsibility

Part three of a five-part series on leadership.

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In this five-part series, I'm not going to give you a definition of leadership. I'm not even going to try to come up with one on my own, because your idea of leadership is exactly that, YOURS. My only hope is that my ideas can help you better understand your idea of leadership.

By now, you may have noticed that these articles are structured in a specific way. If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, go check out the first two articles in this five-part series. I tell you why a respective trait, this week that trait is responsibility, is so much more than its definition. Then go on to explain why it's crucial for being a successful leader and leave you with something to ponder.

However, now and in the future, I am going to add a general example to help solidify my point and allow you to see the full picture. These examples are for your use. Interject characters or people you know into the scenarios to better illustrate it for yourself. Maybe you've been in one of these situations, I would love to hear about it.

Part 3: What is responsibility? And what does it have to do with leadership?

Responsibility is similar to leadership in that everyone you ask will probably explain it with a story rather than a definition. This makes sense because it is just too broad to be accurately defined in one statement. I could probably come up with some ideas for stories to illustrate my point about responsibility, but I don't think that would be helpful to you.

Google would tell you that responsibility is "the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something". I actually like this definition! But to better illustrate my point, try this little thought experiment. Think back to the last time you had "a duty to deal with something".

What was that something? Who charged you with that duty? Was it really yours to deal with?

Too often we think of responsibility in mundane terms. Some may say that responsibility is shown by getting an assignment done or showing up to an important meeting on time. I would generally agree that doing these mundane activities show responsibility, but only in a mundane sense. The completion of a duty that someone else charges you with is just too simple.

Think about responsibility. It is so much more than just getting things done. It is so much bigger than an assignment or a meeting.

Responsibility is a mentality. Responsibility is a way of life.

You should really be thinking about responsibility as an ideal which you strive for, not a box that you check. Welp, I was responsible today! I made all of my meetings, check! I finished all of my work, check! Guess I don't need to be responsible tomorrow!

See how well that works out.

Responsibility is about taking ownership of what you do, in all situations. Everything you say and everything you do. The things that you are proud of and those which make you feel ashamed. Each one of your successes, as well every single one of your failures and shortcomings. That last one isn't easy, I know.

Responsibility is also seeing things through to completion. If you start a project, you finish it. If you set a meeting, you make it there on time. If you say you will do something, you do it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Responsibility is completing a duty which you charged yourself with, regardless of that duty.

But when you start thinking this way, day in and day out, responsibility becomes natural. It becomes the way of life you want it to be, ubiquitous and easy to see. This is when leadership comes into play.

Being more responsible in your everyday life will make you a better leader.

Regardless of the situation, responsibility will carry over. It will also spread. As more and more people see you taking ownership and seeing things through to completion, they will follow your example. Friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family will appreciate the fact that you actually care enough to do what you say you are going to do.

Leading by example, isn't that the best form of leadership?

Here is a scenario for you to view through your own eyes. You are part of a group which is charged with completing a project in a given amount of time. For simplicity, say your boss has appointed one person to be the "leader", charged with scheduling meetings and holding members accountable to the work they say they will do.

As time goes on, this "leader" is often late to meetings or doesn't show at all. This leader often forgets his duties and brings nothing of value to the meetings. This so-called leader is not being responsible, and the group is suffering. You are no closer to your goal then the day the group was formed.

This appointed leader is not showing leadership because he or she is not being responsible. Why should anyone else show up on time or complete what they said they were going to if the leader doesn't do the same? Change starts with you setting the example of responsibility.

Whether you are in the office, on the assembly line, or at home, being responsible will change you and those around you. It will make life better because it makes life easier. Just imagine how much better your life would be if every person who made a commitment to you, followed through on that commitment.

To end and to drive this point home, we will get a little meta. The next time someone breaks a promise or cancels a meeting, accept it for what it is: a lack of responsibility. Then, when it's your turn to keep a commitment, keep it. Don't be petty by saying "Well they did it to me, why can't I do it to them?". A cancellation for a cancellation makes the whole world uninformed.

Lead by example by taking ownership of your commitments and seeing them through to the end. People will respect your responsibility and return it in kind.

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